The 8th month of pregnancy (31-34 weeks) is a time when the mother is being impatient and little anxious with the changes in her body. With the baby growing at a rapid pace and the belly expanding; no wonder, the woman will want it to be over as soon as possible.

It has to be observed that, even with high chances of survival, the child needs to be nourished in the uterus, as a day in the uterus is said to be two less days the baby would spend in the hospital. Being patient and waiting for the right time is the best the mother can do for now.

Changes in the baby

The organs and bones of the baby are well developed and its senses are working properly by now. The different organs continue to develop in the eighth month, while their functions become more specific with every passing day.

  • There is less kicking, though there is more twisting and wriggling, as the baby is running out of room to move freely due to its rapid growth.
  • Most probably the baby will move to a head down position during this month.
  • The baby develops a pattern of deep sleep and REM sleep.
  • When being awake the baby tries to explore the limited surroundings.
  • Sensitiveness to sound and light increases.
  • The finger nails reach the end of finger tips.
  • The baby can now distinguish between tastes like sweet and sour.
  • The baby starts getting hiccups.

Changes in the mom to be

The mother will continue to gain nearly a pound every week, which makes her tired and impatient. In addition, she goes through various aches, pain and fatigue associated with the later stages of pregnancy. The regular strong movements of the baby in her womb will reassure and comfort her, as she knows it will soon be over.

  • The bony parts of the baby such as elbows, heels and knees can be felt by the mom when they stick out.
  • She often experiences shortness in breath as the baby pushes up towards her lungs.
  • The weight of the baby adds strain to the lower back and stomach.
  • Increase in Braxton Hicks contractions is common.
  • The navel will stretch out and flatten.

Tips for the 8th month

Though it is important to maintain health throughout pregnancy, it is particularly important in the eighth and ninth months, when the baby becomes fully formed and development of brain and senses becomes prominent.

  • Avoid people who like to talk about their horror experiences of childbirth.
  • Keep guard against toxemia of pregnancy.
  • Monitor the movement of the baby.
  • Take care of the nipples to avoid chaffing in future.
  • Avoid intake of starch and fats since they can lead to fetal obesity.
  • It is important to watch out for premature labor pain and get immediate medical help in case of symptoms like higher number of contractions (more than 5 per hour), sudden vaginal bleeding/discharge, facial swelling, acute vomiting, etc.